A recipient of the Young Scientist Award, the 32-year-old is a fine blend of creativity and spirituality, greatly influenced by `Raja Yoga' which he learnt at the Brahmakumari Spiritual Organisation. Psychology is his favourite subject
Everyone likes to succeed. But while success eludes some, for others it may come ahead of time indicating that they are made of sterner stuff and have the grit and determination to pursue their long-cherished dreams. A case in point is Syed Salman Ahmad, winner of the Young Scientist Award at the Indian Science Conference in the anthropology and behavioural science (psychology) stream.
A versatile personality, he is one among the 13 Indians and the only one from Andhra Pradesh. His research titled "Phenomenological analysis of selfhood" (PAS), which earned him the award, is unlike the normal psychological assessments where patients are not given any control of analysis. "Here the patient analyses himself. It's exploration of the subject by the subject and not a routine assessment," equips the 32-year-old. And what made him choose such a different and an empirical topic? "I was always interested in this subject more so while doing my Master's in psychology at Osmania University. "I came under the influence of eminent psychologists like Karl Yang, Victor Franklin, R. D. Lang, and Abraham Maslow. And most importantly, the Indian philosophy of Raj Yoga which I learnt at Brahmakumari Spiritual Organisation," asserts the second topper in MA psychology. A native of Bihar and currently running a private counselling centre there, he feels comparing Bihar with Hyderabad would be really unfair to the former with a grin.He claims himself to be a pucca Hyderabadi, as he was born and brought up here and completed his entire education in the city of pearls. He also taught psychology for seven years at the Nizam College. An art buff, he was into acting, theatre, dubbing, a brief stint in journalism, etc. during his college days but his main focus was always psychology. But he bid adieu to everything as he says, "that's not the life I wanted to lead and took up spiritual living." Before you complete the obvious question as to what spurred him to spiritualism at a young age, the scholar in him speaks out. "I think spirituality is for everyone, more so for youngsters so that they can explore the latent spiritual dimensions. And his idea of spirituality being oneness, belongingness, and not having any boundaries reveals his secular attitude.
According to Dr. Salman, the future is bright for the upcoming psychologists provided they have the dynamism to reach out to people and help them de-stress and lead a wholesome life. The developments in technology are alienating people from relationships as also from their inner behavioural core. Psychologists can make a huge difference in this realm, he avers. The country's sharpest brains are drifting westward, so is he planning to do the same. "I believe that if you want to do good work, it can be done anywhere." He aspires to continue doing research on self and bring about a synergy between psychology and spirituality. "In India, we have a rich history and enriching spiritual systems which have the potential of helping people overcome stress and make this world a better place to live in," he wraps up. Who wouldn't be willing to get a respite from modern day pressures and stress? BUSHRA BASEERAT